As soon as I saw these cards I realized they were telling me that I needed to take some time alone and look at things I might have been avoiding. I also needed to keep my wits about me but sheath my tongue. Lately I’ve been sniping at people and being fairly bitchy. Obviously this is not the most helpful way to handle things.
Looking at this Hermit I am struck by the sense that he is searching for his spiritual truth and is being guided by a divine figure. He is exploring new spiritual pathways that haven’t been systematized yet; finding his way through ancient pathways that haven’t been co-opted by the mainstream. The Hermit prefers living in the liminal – areas that are still somewhat untamed and unexplored. It can be lonely and isolated by it also allows him to live his truth; to be genuine to himself and his spiritual path. I often find that once any spiritual practice becomes mainstream (such as Pagan groups purchasing land and acquiring dogma), I start to walk in another direction. The road less traveled suits my soul much better.
The Queen of Swords reminds me that I can be smart, sharp, intelligent and witty but that doesn’t mean I need to be sharp-tongued or bitchy (and believe me I can be both quite successfully). This Queen is guided by the angelic figures in the mirror. They remind me that sometimes I need to take a look at myself and see if I’m being the best me I can be; am I using my smarts for good instead of evil? Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes no.
Overall this reading continues to reinforce the concept that intelligence alone is not going to help me in this situation. I may sometimes feel isolated and lonely but much of this journey is one I have to make alone because it’s about mapping my internal landscape. That is not something others can do for me. I may seek some guidance and advice but the path has to be one I choose and the journey will end up being completed alone.
Today I need to focus on the choices I’m making and how it impacts my energy and creativity. It’s interesting to use this deck for this process because the Wands suit is associated with the lemures – the spirits of the restless, vengeful or malignant dead. That doesn’t sound fun or enjoyable and at first it left me a bit stumped. Then I thought about it a bit more and realized that creative energy can seem frightening. It leaves us feeling charged and fiery but if we don’t have a sense of direction for that energy it can turn on us. It can leave us feeling burnt out and frustrated. That sounds the way I would expect a restless spirit to feel and certain could become malignant if it lingers too long.
So looking at these two cards today I see that I need to be more gentle with regards to the choices I make (the goddess hovering in the air above the lovers reminds me of Kwan Yin, a gentle, loving goddess). I think it’s also reminding me that I need to find a way to live with the choices I’ve made without losing my creative energy and becoming a malignant spirit myself.
The key is accepting that I did make this choices. I could have made other ones and my path would have taken me to a very different destination. However I don’t know if I would have been happy with the person I became once I reached that destination. I could have refused to help care for my in-laws; insisted that they be placed in facilities. I could have refused to participate in caring for them and let my husband deal with it on his own. I could have made several different decisions that would have dramatically changed this situation but would I still be me? (Well of course I would be it would be a very different me.)
I seem to keep receiving this message (in slightly different forms) because I need to be reminded of this fact. I don’t regret my decisions but I am human. Sometimes I wish things turned out differently. I wish I had more patience and different resent some of the sacrifices I’ve made. I wish I could return to the lifestyle I had before – with the ability to splurge occasionally without worrying about the finances. However at the end of the day I am happy with the choices I’ve made.
The key for me to stay healthy in body, mind & spirit is to remember that I need to find healthy outlets for my creative energy, my fiery nature and my restless spirit. That is what can trip me up and lead me to becoming malignant and vengeful (or perhaps resentful and miserable). Some days I’m better at this than others but I have to remember to keep up the fight. I can’t allow circumstances to dampen my flame (or rather allow myself to douse my creative energy because of these circumstances).
Wow, two biggies in the same day – and reversed yet. How fun! Okay, smart aleck-ness aside, I found it interesting to draw these two cards the day after Thanksgiving. Yesterday my focus was on food and family. Today I’m getting the sense that my focus needs to be on me.
The High Priestess reversed has shown up for me several times since I’ve begun using this deck. I find her sweet, caring, concerned face sitting atop a pancake syrup bottle to be quite quirky and adorable. In her reversed state I think she’s reminding me that I need to look deep within myself to find the answers I seek. Once I find them I’ll be able to add more sweetness and richness to my life. She also speaks to me of concern and kindness. This process isn’t an endurance run or triathlon, it’s a lifelong process. The only way to win is to do the work. Getting to the finish line first defeats the purpose if I haven’t fully absorbed the lessons learned along the way.
I have a tendency to be very goal oriented – when I wrote papers for school I sometimes took shortcuts i in order to complete assignments. I never cheated but there were definitely times when I short-changed myself. I always received excellent marks on my assignments so my work was fine but I know there was information I missed because I was rushing. I don’t want to replicate this process when it comes to my life and how I want to live it from this point forward.
Instead of The Tower’s usual meaning, this image gives me a different sense of this card. It shows a woman trapped in a 4-tiered gelatin mold. She seems happy enough but is she truly happy? Perhaps she just hasn’t explored the possibilities of life beyond the gelatin mold. Or maybe she’s starting to see that there is life beyond the gelatin mold and is happy because she can finally start to free herself and explore that potential?
In my case, I’m well aware of life beyond the gentle but firm trap of the gelatin mold. In my case it’s the prison of family obligation. I love the people for whom I care and don’t want to see anything happen to them but I’m well aware of just what a prison that creates for me. I think the reversed Tower is letting me know that I need to keep my sights on the fact that eventually this situation will change. It will be painful and an adjustment but not really a surprise. So I need to start working on what the newly released me will do with my time and energy. The only way I’ll know that is to spend some time chatting with my inner High Priestess. Mrs. Butterworth’s – take me away!!
Me, me, me – it’s all about me. Well what I really mean is that it’s about the deepest me, the spiritual me. Strength is my Sun sign card and the Queen of Wands has always felt like the Queen that is the truest me (I’m a Leo sun sign). As both these bad boys are reversed today I’m taking that to mean I need to tone down their energies a bit. Both of these cards can sometimes be very assertive, energetic and even exhausting. Or perhaps the message here is that I’ve been channeling the energies of these cards at a high level lately and it might be good to relax a bit.
It’s funny that the image on Strength is a box of Scribbo pads – the ultimate abrasive cleaner. In some respects I think that describes one of my approaches to life. Sometimes I’m an abrasive cleaner, especially if I think someone is being disingenuous. One of my pet peeves (actually it may rise to the level of compulsion) is hypocrisy. I cannot abide it in myself or in anyone else. I have been known to scour away at the veneers and layers of falseness to get to the truth underneath. Needless to say this can sometimes make me quite unpopular with family and friends. I suppose my good qualities outweigh this one because most do stay on good terms with me.
The Queen of Wands reinforces this abrasive cleaner aspect in my personality. She does not suffer fools and does not have enough tact to hide that fact. She wields the scepter/broom that beats you into submission or sweeps away the bullshit, if necessary. She almost appears to be challenging you to join her if you dare.
To me, the reversed nature of both these cards tells me that I have a two fold message. On one level I need to do some scrubbing, cleaning and sweeping in my own life. It’s part of my continuing journey to clear away what doesn’t serve me anymore. I think I’m doing well but now is not the time to give up. On another level I think both these cards are reminding me that I can be a bit kinder and gentler about it – especially with others. Now is a time for welcoming in and enjoying rather than scrubbing away and baring it all.
The first thing that struck me about both these cards is the figures on them being engaged in physical labor. What it brought to my mind is that kind of drudge work that no one really appreciates but which must be done to keep up the home or the car or one’s life. It’s work that we have to do for ourselves not because it will garner praise from others.
This ties in perfectly with inner work that I’ve done recently. I’ve become a SARK fan over the last few months. Her breezy, irreverent and fun approach to things appeals to me. A recent blog post detailed her journeys through magical manifestation. I LOVED it!! Her approach is so simple it’s almost amazing – act as if. She describes how she and a few intrepid fellow adventurers began meeting for lunches during which they each described their lives as they wanted them to be (I’m simplifying a bit – you can see the original post here). SARK eventually realized that all of them had manifested their wishful thoughts.
So I decided to give this a try with a few friends. We can’t always manage to meet for lunch so we’re going to use email, instant messages and phone calls to do it. So far I’ve written one magical manifestation exercise and it was fun. I realized that sometimes just acting as if you’ve already achieved something can make it easier to manifest.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry is able to produce a powerful Patronus charm and protect Sirius Black and himself from the Dementors because he had already seen himself do it. He knew he could do it so he was able to accomplish it. In Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the Gene Wilder/Peter Ostrum movie), Charlie finds the Golden Ticket because he believes he will. In his deepest soul he is sure that he is meant to find one and he does.
Sometimes it so easy to fall into the pattern of focusing why I can’t accomplish things that I undermine myself. This Magical Manifestation approach avoids all that because it focuses me on what I’ve done. If I focus on actually doing what I already know I can do, then it will happen. It’s magical work at its most basic. And these cards are the reminder that most of the work I need to do to manifest these miracles in my life is within myself, behind the scenes as it were. It doesn’t need to be shown to the world because the important piece of the puzzle is the outcome. I’m now convinced the outcome of this exercise in magical manifesting will produce miraculous results. To paraphrase Eminem, “I am whatever I say I am.’
I started using the Housewives Tarot yesterday (the Full Moon was Sunday and I decided it was time to swap decks). I thought the Housewives would be appropriate because we’re nearing Thanksgiving and it seems to fit the feel of tradition and home that permeates the air.
Today I drew the Page of Cups which shows a small boy with a big grin watering flowers that bear the faces of older people. The book talks about tending our emotional relationships and nurturing them. In this case I think the Page of Cups is reminding me that if I don’t tend to such matters – nourishing and watering the relationships I value in my life, then I’ll find myself much poorer for the experience.
The 7 of Cups reversed shows a well dressed woman pondering seven cocktail glasses that are arrayed before her. She seems to be considering her decision – which drink will she choose? This card reminds me that I don’t have a lot of choices right now. And the ones I do have are not as tempting as which cocktail I’d like to try. I think it’s showing me that I need to think before making a choice, especially because the options are very limited.
Together I see a bigger message from these two cards. The Page of Cups is letting me know that even if my choices are limited, I still do have some options. Or perhaps what the 7 of Cups reversed is telling me is that I FEEL as though I have no options but that may not be the case. Perhaps what the message of these combined cards is that I have some choices (no matter how I feel right now) and I need to cultivate, tend and nurture them so that they will expand and provide even more options. Even little seeds can grow into big trees if the conditions are right.
It’s also just as important for me to tend to my own emotional needs. As I’m sure it is for many caregivers, I’m finding it gets easier and easier to put my desires and needs aside to care for someone else. Part of me hates doing that (I have a well-developed selfish streak) but with things as they are right now it’s unavoidable. So even if I don’t have a lot of options available to nourish and nurture my emotional side (all those lovely cocktail glasses) that doesn’t mean I should ignore it altogether. I need to do what I can to sustain and tend to my needs too. A challenge but one I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out.
Elopement of Skill (aka 8 of Wands) shows the reclamation of Etain by Midir. In Irish legend, Etain is the second wife of Midir. His jealous first wife changes her into a fly and after some mishaps she is swallowed by Etar and reborn as her daughter. Midir realizes she is his true love reborn and pursues her despite the fact that she is married to another. Despite all efforts to stop him, Midir reclaims Etain and they escape rising through the smoke hole and becoming swans.
The Courtship of Battle (3 of Swords) shows the first meeting of Nessa (mother of King Conchobar of Ulster) and Cathbad the Druid. According to legend, Cathbad was part of a raiding band that killed Nessa’s foster parents. Nessa vowed revenge and pursued the assailants. Cathbad manages to entrap her at her bath and coerce her into becoming his wife. (although some version don’t report a marriage but rather an assignation) This union would eventually produce King Conchobar – a legendary Arthurian-style king of Ulster.
So considering the message of these two cards what I take away from this reading is that I need to focus on reclaiming my true self; finding the me I’ve lost over the years. Instead of focusing on the heartache and betrayal that may have helped bury this me, I need to let those feelings get washed away and emerge reborn and spiritually cleansed. I have the energy and skill needed to manifest this but I have to change my mindset otherwise it will continue to hold me back. I can achieve great things as long as I refuse to focus on what was lost. What is gone cannot return and we can’t turn back the clock. It’s time to look to the future and let go of the past. As Raul Julia’s character says in the 70s movie Gumball Rally, “What is behind me is not important”.